International Chocolate Awards explained
Have you realized that many of PACARI chocolate bars are award winners? Have you ever wondered what does that mean?
If you are looking for some answers, this is the post for you because I will try to explain how the process of selecting the best chocolates in the world works and why it is so important!
The International Chocolate Awards started as an independent international competition in 2012, intending to recognize excellence in fine chocolate making. The Awards try to support small companies and artisans producing cacao and making chocolate and are run by a group of international partners based mainly in the UK, Italy, and the USA. The rules and judges are set by a Grand Jury, Country Partners, and independent experts so every year the competition set the highest possible standards.
The Awards are organized in two main significant events: Regional Competitions, held at specific countries and regions like Italy, Belgium or the Americas; and the World Final which looks for the best chocolates among the regional champions. Therefore, to enter the World Final, you first need to hold a regional award.
“Local competitions also mean working with local partners, who understand the local chocolate culture and what works best for their entrants”
To recognize specific styles and skills during the chocolate making, the Awards have been adding new categories every year. In the beginning, it might seem that there are too many of them, but if you take into consideration how processes differ between products, it makes sense to try to account for as many different techniques as possible. Also, with more categories, small companies have more chance of sending at least one or two products that can comply with the necessary requirements to participate. Among these, for example, it is required that all products contain only natural ingredients, thus artificial flavors, sugar, or coloring are forbidden.
The judging process compromises three parts. First of all, there is a Selection Round where a small panel of experts chose the samples that have a chance to win an award. After this, the samples are sent to the Main Round where a permanent group of members and some local invited experts mark the samples setting aside the ones with the highest scores. These last ones will then progress to the Grand Jury Round where awards, from Gold to Bronze, will be given.
Each judge will secretly vote every sample using a specific form, the voting system works with points. The critical areas considered to make the marking are execution, formulation, interpretation, and taste. Moreover, judges are also expected to fill a feedback note about each sample, in this way, the producers can have an idea of how to keep improving their products and production processes. Each sample is, finally, scored out of 100.00 and will be awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze prize.
Categories. Taken from International Chocolate Awards webpage
Written by Sara at Pacari Chocolates UK Team